Monday, August 17, 2009

Opponents of State-Run Health Care Don't Need a Bible Verse [SK]

An email:
Yo, how goes the war, skinny boy? I have been pondering universal health care.
Conservative evangelicals are opposed to it. When I ask them to site a Bible verse, they have none. Have you put your mental abilities toward this issue?

Would love to hear your take on it.


Me:
Yo, quick answer. They don't need to cite a Bible verse to make their case. They only need to show that the current House bill is not consistent with a Christian worldview either in specific content, reasonable inference, or both.

First, provisions in the current bill which allow the government to fund elective abortions violate Biblical commands against the shedding of innocent blood. (Exodus 23:7, Proverbs 6: 16-19, Matthew 5:21, to name a few.)

Second, section 1233--which is logical to infer promotes the rationing of care for the elderly and infirm--violates biblical principles of upholding justice for the weak and vulnerable. (To cite a few passages on justice, see Jeremiah 5:26-28; 9:24; Isaiah 1:16-17, 21-23; 58:6-7; 61:8; Psalm 94:1-23; Proverbs 24:1-12;Matthew 25:41-46.) In short, it is one thing to help the uninsured; it is quite another to interject a government bureaucracy between you and your health care.

Third, there's a moral concern about stealing. Is it right for the government to steal (in the form of heavy taxation) from the citizenry to fund debt-financed programs it cannot afford and will never repay? Biblically speaking, we're told it's evil to borrow and not payback (Psalm 37: 21). The national debt racked up by this proposed health care spending would be astronomical.

Thus, what really matters here is not whether opponents of national healthcare can cite a verse, but whether their cumulative case against the bill squares reasonably well with an overall biblical worldview. In this instance, I think it does.
-

23 comments:

  1. Well done, Scott. Christians don't need a "proof text" for every single point we wish to make. In fact, citing such texts is often dangerous, because one can take Scripture out of context and change its meaning.

    Rather than search for a specific verse to "prove" the point, it's far better to consider the totality of Scripture. As the very Word of God, Scripture has a unified & consistent message. Among other points, that message condemns shedding innocent blood, just as it condemns stealing from one group of people in order to benefit another group. Also, Scripture warns us about human sinfulness and the corruption of power, which should make Christians very skeptical about any governmental intrusion into the private sphere.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amen. I give this one a standing ovation!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Scott, I thought this post was a bit fishy, so I went ahead and reported it to the White House at flag@whitehouse.gov.

    This is what I got in return:

    Remote host said: 550 5.2.1 flag@whitehouse.gov>... The email address you just sent a message to is no longer in service.We are now accepting your feedback about health insurance reform via:http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck)

    I suppose our little blog will remain unflagged for the moment.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Scott, I think opposing the public health care option is decidedly un-Christlike. Let me explain why.

    As you know, I agree with your fight against abortion. A society that devalues life devalues itself. That is not a healthy way for a society to behave, and a society that does not provide health care for its weak and infirmed is devaluing life in the same way.

    I don’t agree with voting against this bill by linking it to the abortion issue. A publicly funded health plan would need to provide for all legal procedures. This bill won’t make abortion any more legal, and if abortion were made less legal, the provisions would have to change. They are completely separate.

    Secondly, I’ve read section 1233, and I do not draw the same conclusions. But admittedly the language is vague, so shame on them for giving purchase to the right-wing lawyers who were paid to scour the bill and look for flaws. But so be it. Let’s assume there were rationing. What is rationing? Is it drawing the line on overly expensive health costs for a patient who is definitely dying? Mind you—this would be rationing health costs for a person who has no other options. So a person has a choice between going home and dying in agony, or getting some pain meds from the government, and you would deny them those meds because they aren’t enough? Would you be in favor of this bill if it provided every single medical procedure to anyone who asked for it? No, I don’t think you would because people aren’t always reasonable in what they ask for from their doctors. And yet you complain that there is rationing. It's only a buzzword used as an excuse to oppose it.

    Remember … rationing won’t ever happen to you … because you can afford good health insurance. That is ... unless you get an expensive form of cancer and the death panels from your current private carrier (and they exist, believe me) decide to cancel your coverage. Then you will be out of luck and no other insurance provider will touch you—-because you have cancer! But your last bastion of hope would have been public health if you and all your “Christian” friends hadn’t worked so hard to cast it down.

    And to call this stealing means you would not give one of your two cloaks to him who has none. Do you pay taxes at all? Is that always stealing? "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's." Jesus said that. I could quote many other scriptures that make Jesus look very suspiciously socialist.

    Please Scott … think about your stance and go against the party line on this one. Would you be in favor of a Public Health Bill if it were worded differently? Or are you simply against the concept of helping those whom all others have turned away?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Jim. There is much to criticize about your comment but I'd like to stick with your point about abortion.

    A publicly funded health plan would need to provide for all legal procedures. This bill won’t make abortion any more legal, and if abortion were made less legal, the provisions would have to change. They are completely separate.

    I'm sorry Jim, but you are simply wrong here. A public plan does not have to provide for all legal procedures. Let's see if Obamacare will pay for breast augmentations, and last I checked that is a legal procedure.

    Of course the reason why cosmetic surgery is not covered is that it is elective, and serves no overall general health purpose. If abortion is covered under the plan, it would change the definition of abortion from a private, elective choice to a procedure which is labeled as essential to women's health. If that is something you as a self proclaimed pro-life advocate can accept I would love to know why.

    But it does not stop there. In order to exist in the exchange, private insurances will have to provide the same coverage. For example, I provide health insurance for my employees that specifically does not cover abortion services. Such a policy would be illegal under Obamacare.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jim wrote (in part):
    This bill won’t make abortion any more legal, and if abortion were made less legal, the provisions would have to change.

    Serge's response to your claim is excellent, and I'd encourage you to read it. However, there's one more point which must be made about abortion.

    As pro-lifers, we want to do more than to simply make abortion illegal. We want to make abortion unthinkable. We want to eliminate abortion. We want to consign abortion to the landfill of history, just like we have (largely) done with slavery.

    Both pro-choicers and pro-lifers agree that public funding for abortions will increase their numbers. That only makes sense. People are less likely to have an elective procedure if they have to pay for it themselves. On the other hand, if Big Brother pays for abortions, then women will be more likely to have them.

    If Obamacare pays for abortions, then more unborn children will die. Leaving aside all of the other issues, that single point should be enough to cause any pro-lifer to oppose Obamacare as it has been proposed....

    ReplyDelete
  7. Jim,

    I’m with Serge and would prefer to stick to the topic that is relevant to our blog but, at risk of opening a can of worms -- and because your comments are so commonly misunderstood -- and with the promise that I will NOT engage in a protracted debate about the subject -- I am compelled to address a couple of your points:

    First: “I think opposing the public health care option is decidedly un-Christlike.”

    Please define “Christlike.” I ask because those who make such a statement are usually only encouraging others to reflect the aspects of Christlikeness that they prefer. For instance, I wonder if we should see Christlikeness in the righteous anger he displayed at those who violated his Father’s character and laws. If so, it seems completely Christlike to me to display righteous anger in opposition to people and policies (like a health care system) that directly subsidizes and financially encourages harming the most vulnerable members of the human family and violates the moral law that should inspire us to protect them.

    Or do you mean Christlike in the loving sense? If so, let me ask you this: Suppose I am a (corrupt) police officer who stops you on the street, handcuffs you, and tells you that, in order to continue to enjoy your freedom, you must first empty the contents of your wallet for the purpose of feeding the homeless man in the city park you happen to be walking through. If you submit to his demand, are you demonstrating Christlike “love”? I hope hope you don’t think so. Yet you seem to be deeming the government confiscation of your hard-earned wages for a similar purpose as a demonstration of Christlikeness and admonishing us for disagreeing.

    The fact is that your claim that such a system will help those in need has been found wanting. No such system has ever been successful at “helping” those in need if you define help as something that, in the end, yields a recipient more virtuous or better able to reflect Christlikeness themselves. Quite the opposite. Not only so but the American public in general, and the American church specifically, are repeatedly shown to be the most charitable people in the world. The exhortation to be charitable is given to the church to help and show compassion to those in need. There is no such Biblical exhortation to the government. In fact, our obligation to the government is to submit to its authority to wield punishment on wrongdoers, not compassion.

    Second: And to call this stealing means you would not give one of your two cloaks to him who has none. Do you pay taxes at all? Is that always stealing? "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's." Jesus said that. I could quote many other scriptures that make Jesus look very suspiciously socialist.

    Quoting Scripture out of context is easy. I could also cite Scripture that would make Jesus look like a drunk, a womanizer and a lawbreaker. Quoting Scripture isn’t enough. It surely isn’t enough to support the case for subsidized abortion on demand which, interestingly, you claim to be against.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Serge is right and I concede that point. This bill could end more lives for that reason, so if that's why you oppose it--it's a logical and ethical reason.

    However, on a few of the other points, I will not concede. The point of this blog was about why Conservative Evangelicals are opposed to this bill. Could it be that the original questioner felt that perhaps he/she was being a hypocrite by opposing it?

    But when I quote a host of scriptures that show why the Health Care reform bill is *in line* with Christian teaching, I'm told I'm quoting scripture out of context. I went to seminary. I studied the scriptures for decades. I studied the Greek. I studied the Hebrew. You know what startling discovery I made? The Bible can mean whatever you want it to. Case in point: today's Christians have a serious problem with a government that takes their money to heal the sick, but they have NO problems with that government when they take their money to kill innocent people. Why? Because unprincipled Christians can make the Scriptures say whatever is convenient for them.

    I'm not saying this to purposefully offend. I'm sure you're all good folks--you're friends of Scott's after all. I'm only saying this to confront you with the stark contrast between your politics and Christ's teachings.

    But answer me this. If the abortion element were out of this bill, would you be in favor of it? If it were proven to be "paid for" (which is certainly debatable) would you vote for it then? If it were George W. Bush presenting this to you instead of Obama, would you vote for it? What if it were Jesus Christ himself, asking you to give your money to Doctors so they could afford to help suffering poor people ... would you still oppose it on principle? Can you not see even the slightest similarity between what this bill is TRYING to do, and the compassionate example Christ set?

    And lastly ... Scott ... when Jesus was angry ... it was at the hypocritical religious people of his day who had become a tool of political powers. Think about it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello Jim,

    I wanted to weigh in on one issue that I am interested in without addressing what you have argued with the others specific to their points. I notice that often when Christians are chiding other Christians for a lack of compassion on certain issues they can make it sound as if the only compassion that ought to be counted in their evaluation is government/tax payer funded programs. I find that an odd standard.

    How many Catholic and Protestant hospitals, as well as secular non-profits, offer free or discounted medical care to those in need? How many Christian organizations funded directly by private citizens are reaching out to the poor with services they could not otherwise afford?

    I personally know more than a few good Christian surgeons who donate their professional skills both locally and on medical mission trips to third world countries. And every one of them assures me that the "compassionate" healthcare reform that you attribute such Christ-like motivations to will ultimately hamper their abilities to continue to do those things.

    Any evaluation of the good that is being done must take into account the charitable work that is being accomplished already. It is at best shortsighted not to address that work. And it is near insanity not to question if the government that fails to do so many other things well is capable of compassionately administrating a massive bureaucratic system the likes of which our nation has never seen.

    Outsourcing our responsibilities to the government fails to demonstrate a more Christ-like approach in my eyes. Especially as their track record as good stewards is questionable at best.

    God bless,
    Jay

    ReplyDelete
  10. The point of this blog was about why Conservative Evangelicals are opposed to this bill.

    Actually, no. Nothing in here hinges on the political or religious leanings of anyone. The point of this blog is for thinking people to defend the idea that killing unborn human beings is morally wrong. Our opposition to this specific bill is a subset of that project.

    But when I quote a host of scriptures that show why the Health Care reform bill is *in line* with Christian teaching, I'm told I'm quoting scripture out of context. I went to seminary. I studied the scriptures for decades. I studied the Greek. I studied the Hebrew. You know what startling discovery I made? The Bible can mean whatever you want it to.

    First, Jim, I may have missed the "host of Scripture" you cited but I honestly don't see it. Your appeal to your own credentialed authority means nothing when you don't offer an actual argument to defend your view. There are plenty of folks with letters after their names who repeatedly quote Scripture out of context so I don't find that line of argument compelling. In fact, it rings hollow when you don't defend your view thoughtfully but instead make baseless emotional assertions like the one that (for comment space limits) will appear on the following comment ...

    ReplyDelete
  11. ... continued from above ...

    Case in point: today's Christians have a serious problem with a government that takes their money to heal the sick, but they have NO problems with that government when they take their money to kill innocent people. Why?

    First, the government doesn't heal anybody. Doctors, nurses, and hospitals do. Our problem is that, by inserting a government bureaucracy in between the actual person who is actually sick and the doctor who can actually heal them, history shows that you not only waste the "donor's" money in the bureaucratic black hole that has every tendency toward fraud, mismanagement and abuse, you also provide slow, worse, and arbitrarily directed care to the sick. I'd love to hear your justification for claiming that such a system is better or loving in the real sense of those words.

    Second, we do have a problem with the government taking money "to kill innocent people" -- namely, unborn children.

    Finally, your attempt to equate abortion with waging war against an enemy who has sworn to destroy us is old, tired and doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Even if I grant you that our military is off deliberately killing innocent people (which I don't. I actually find such a comment either grossly naive or repulsive to the men and women it insults), the numbers don't add up. Abortion kills ~ 1.3 MILLION babies each year. Which war are you referring to when you attempt to equate those outcomes.

    Because unprincipled Christians can make the Scriptures say whatever is convenient for them ... I'm only saying this to confront you with the stark contrast between your politics and Christ's teachings.

    I agree ... and I would say that that is exactly what you have done here. And in doing so, you have failed to confront us with any kind of sharp contrast at all.

    If the abortion element were out of this bill, would you be in favor of it?

    No, I wouldn't. I oppose such a system on moral grounds. The abortion element just happens to be the reason the subject came up on this blog.

    If it were proven to be "paid for" (which is certainly debatable) would you vote for it then?

    No. See above.

    If it were George W. Bush presenting this to you instead of Obama, would you vote for it?

    I'm not sure what the president's name has to do with the discussion of an inefficient government program being foisted upon a people who (in every poll I've seen) don't want it. But just for clarity, I opposed Bush when he proposed expanding the government in similar ways. His spendthrift proclivities are the reason many believe he was a political disappointment.

    What if it were Jesus Christ himself, asking you to give your money to Doctors so they could afford to help suffering poor people ... would you still oppose it on principle?

    False dilemma. He has asked, and I have given for just this purpose ... which is why I contend that I don't need a corrupt government bureaucracy acting as a middle man to do so.

    ReplyDelete
  12. First off, Jay, I don’t think that the only compassion comes from government, and it’s not my standard. I would prefer it came from charity, but human beings apparently aren’t charitable enough to end the massive amount of suffering we have among us, so a formal solution is in order. I’ve not said anything against that charitable work—I wish there were more of it. But it’s just not enough.

    “… it is near insanity not to question if the government that fails to do so many other things well is capable of compassionately administrating a massive bureaucratic system the likes of which our nation has never seen.”

    Both you and Av8torBob seem to have concluded that all things government are bad. Allow me to break this misconception. Your entire day today was enabled and made far more safe and convenient by a myriad of smoothly run, uncorrupt government institutions. But you’ve enjoyed them your whole life and are completely unaware of and ungrateful for their existence. Assuming you’re American, the electricity in your home is brought to you by a government monopoly. It is cheap and extremely reliable. You drink safe, clean water that is brought to you by the same. You watch TV that is regulated by the FCC to make sure it’s okay for your children. Is that a failure too? You can be certain of what the weather will be today because of the NOAA, that uses satellites designed by NASA. The bacon and eggs you ate for breakfast? They weren’t riddled with trichinosis or salmonella because of the FDA. Your car is safe because of the NHTSA, and it drives on roads created by … government! Even the air I breathe here in LA is 75% cleaner today than it was when I was a kid because of the EPA.

    Should I keep going? The post office, fire department, police department, our entire military—all government institutions. Where is all this failure you speak of? I don’t see it. And yet you think it is insanity NOT to question the government? I don’t think you’re aware of how great our government is.

    That’s not to say that government corruption doesn’t exist. Of course it does, but to say that the “government fails at so much” is a statement you will have to prove.

    (I’d like to thank the government institution of DARPA for making this internet comment possible.)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Bob, by listing my credentials I was reacting to was the person who claimed I was quoting scriptures “out of context” without explaining why. (Not sure if it was you.)

    But if you want a host of scriptures, here you go.

    Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
    (Christians should obey local laws. This includes taxes. Jesus also rebuked tax collectors but only because they took more than the government was requiring.)

    Matthew 22:21 Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s …
    (Specific instructions to pay taxes. I’m pretty sure that the taxes levied by the Romans paid for things far worse than healing the sick.)

    Acts 4:32-35 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. … There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
    (That’s pure socialism.)

    Acts 2: 44-45 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.

    1 Timothy 5:9-11 Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.
    (Welfare)

    Matthew 19:21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

    Luke 3:10-11 "What should we do then?" the crowd asked. John answered, "Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same."

    Deuteronomy 10:12-13 “He [God] defends the cause of the fatherless and the widows, and the alien, giving them food and clothing.”

    Deuteronomy 14:29 And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do.

    Deuteronomy 26:12-13. “When you have finished paying all the tithe of your produce in the third year, which is the year of tithing, giving it to the Levites (priests), the sojourner (migrants), the fatherless (orphans and abandoned children), and the widows, so that they may eat within your towns and be filled.”

    In spite of all these scriptures, many Christians use their Biblical kung fu to deny any responsibility they might have to pay taxes in order to care for the sick. Why? Because of this:
    1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

    -snip-

    ReplyDelete
  14. -continued-
    I know that many Christians will say that all of this does not mean we should let the government take care of the sick. That these are “God’s” principles, and not those that should be carried out by our secular government. My response to that is twofold: 1) it would therefore be consistent for them NOT think the Government should be carrying out God’s principles when it comes to Gay marriage either? 2) Why hasn't the church, then, taken care of this problem?

    But most Christians DO support Government legislation against Gay Marriage, and DO NOT support Government assistance to the poor. They do this with Biblical Kung Fu. Because as I stated before, the Bible can mean anything a person wants it to, and they use it to confirm the beliefs they wish to hold.

    “Our problem is that, by inserting a government bureaucracy in between the actual person who is actually sick and the doctor who can actually heal them, history shows that you not only waste the "donor's" money in the bureaucratic black hole that has every tendency toward fraud, mismanagement and abuse, you also provide slow, worse, and arbitrarily directed care to the sick. I'd love to hear your justification for claiming that such a system is better or loving in the real sense of those words.”

    Please see my reply to Jay above. The assumption you make is that any government activity is a bureaucratic black hole. Do you feel the same about the FAA? Since you’re an aviator, you’re familiar with it, and since you think the government is a black hole, you must think aviators would be better off without it? You seem like an intelligent guy. Tell me how much better off you would be without FAA, or without any of the fantastic, smoothly run, highly efficient organizations I listed in my post to Jay? Do you use Medicare or MedicAid by any chance? Those are government run medical organizations. Where’s the corruption? Where’s the bureaucratic black whole? Were you military? Do you still use Military Health Care? Not bad, is it? That’s because the government runs pretty smooth operations most of the time. I don’t have the burden of proof here. You do.

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t watch them and ferret out waste and corruption. Of course that will happen, but the government steps in and does a job where the private sector either fails, or cannot make a profit. Caring for those who cannot care for themselves is just such a job, and the Insurance companies have failed. I’ve shown you how this is something that God seems to care about. Why don’t Christians think it is a worthy cause?

    “we do have a problem with the government taking money "to kill innocent people" -- namely, unborn children.”

    But then you don’t care about their health after they are born. Those babies in particular will need the government’s help to stay healthy more than anyone. Being a champion of the unborn does not mean you are morally beyond reproach. Ceausescu was against abortion too. He was an evil communist dictator who made abortion illegal in Romania and raised a generation of poor, sickly, unwanted delinquents because he did not offer them any care after they were born. So those babies grew up angry and overthrew him. Funny how that works.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Jim,

    This will be my last word on the subject and then I will move on. To imply that saying the government is not meant to run a bureaucratic system as large as the proposed healthcare system is the same as saying that "all things government are bad" is to so uncharitably portray my comment to you that I am cautious to persist in this. I think that since Bob is a Marine he would probably find your characterization laughable.

    As to the failure of charitable works to "end the massive amounts of suffering we have among us." The statement is either uselessly broad (what specific sufferings that can be ended are we discussing here?) or hopelessly naive (until we have ended all suffering we have failed to properly address it). Neither of those provides adequate reason to institute or support an as of yet unfinished and unarticulated plan for massive government intervention in healthcare.

    I remember in recent years when government programs started focusing on the rather popular opinion that people had a "right" to own homes. That project did not work out so well. It is neither un-Christian nor unreasonable to seriously question if this plan is similarly misguided and could irrevocably hurt our economy and healthcare in similar ways.

    God bless,
    Jay

    ReplyDelete
  16. Honestly, Jim, I thought you were trying to inject some comedic sarcasm into the debate to lighten it up a little. Then I realized you weren't kidding. As I said in my initial comment, I will not engage in a protracted political debate with you. This blog post was about the impact of a government takeover of the health care industry as it relates to abortion.

    That said, I'll leave you with a few thoughts about your assertions regarding the "the fantastic, smoothly run, highly efficient [government] organizations [you] listed."

    For starters, (and to be charitable) I'll give you the FCC (some things that are finite in scope just have to be regulated), NOAA (consolidated weather service makes sense), the roads (everybody uses them). After that, you have GOT to be kidding.

    The Military: Though hybrid in some sense, the military is one of the few institutions that actually falls under the mandate of the Constitution -- (remember that quaint little document?). Operationally ours is the best in the world precisely because, once unleashed, the operational arm runs independently of the government. This is hampered somewhat by rules of engagement (created by government officials) but the most screwed up mess you can imagine exists in the Pentagon -- where all the government bureaucrats live. Every military officer's worst nightmare (with the exception of those that have political ambitions) is to get assigned to the Pentagon, or to anywhere within ~ 50 miles of Washington, DC.

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: With the noble intent of making home ownership a God-given "right," engaged in a program to give money to people who had no ability or intention of paying it back. Though the problems they created were launched into hyper-drive by the derivatives market, the result has been a worldwide financial catastrophe that can be traced straight back to the government's complete inability to foresee the unintended consequences of their misplaced compulsory "compassion." Sound familiar?

    Medicare/Medicaid: The prototype for the health care monstrosity being foisted upon us, these programs will soon represent the vast majority of the budget's debt service. They are corrupt, wasteful, inefficient and can be largely blamed for the skyrocketing costs of medical insurance that is causing the "crisis" the politicians are claiming to fix -- by making the whole system just like them. Don't believe me? Go ask your doctor's billing agent how much they appreciate working with medicare payments.

    NASA: ... doesn't design satellites. They contract with private companies that build them. NASA itself is an icon of bureaucratic inefficiency. I love the space program but the reality is that The Space Shuttle has a near 2% failure rate. For comparison, the airlines measure their fatal events in losses per MILLION flights to identify any kind of significant trend.

    FAA: Yes, we need to regulate the airspace (similar to the FCC) but I can tell you right now that well over 90% of the delays you experience when you fly are FAA induced and most times for absolutely no logical reason. You have absolutely no idea how badly they screw up the system with their "centralized controls."

    Should I go on?

    Are these the kind of institutions you want deciding if you can get your appendix taken out?

    Your comments seem incredibly naive to me, Jim. If you really believe the government will do better at running the health care system than they do at all this other stuff, that's your business, but please don't try to convince me that my opposition to a bloated, impersonal bureaucracy is "un-Christlike" -- especially since you have yet to define what "Christlike" is (as I asked you to do at the outset).

    The real world just doesn't work the way you seem to wish it would ... and humans have proved again and again that their utopian dream worlds don't pan out as anticipated -- because they're run by imperfect humans.

    ReplyDelete
  17. One last thing, Jim. I was remiss in not addressing your Bible verse list (though some of it is totally inapplicable and, yes, out of context) and your claim that " then you don’t care about their health after they are born. Those babies in particular will need the government’s help to stay healthy more than anyone. Being a champion of the unborn does not mean you are morally beyond reproach.

    As far as the Biblical call to help the poor and fatherless ... I've already answered that. NO ONE here is arguing against that and EVERYONE here advocates prenatal care, counseling for pregnancy and childcare and support to moms who need it. Where on Earth did you manufacture the idea that we cannot, or do not, advocate both? Our care for the unborn is NOT mutually exclusive with those things.

    Like I've said before, every one of us has answered that call in some way. Churches all across this country do it every day. The point is that we don't need a government bureaucrat playing middle man to get that done. I'm not sure why that point is so hard to understand -- unless, of course, you have no intention of trying to understand it. In that case, your ideology is trumping your common sense and nothing I say will ever matter to you ...

    By the way, none of us have ever claimed to be "morally beyond reproach." But just know that being a champion of socialized medicine and other programs does not mean YOU are morally beyond reproach either. Good intentions don't mean a thing if bad results follow from them. It seems to me a little selfish to demand programs that actually harm people in eternally significant ways just so one can feel good about themselves and their intentions. I prefer to champion causes that are morally defensible AND that actually help the people who need it.

    All the best,
    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  18. Jay, we're all in agreement that a charitable solution would be better. My point is that, for all the good intentions out there, is hasn't been working so far.

    You want facts. OK read this report given to the Ways and Means Committee:

    http://zttcfn.convio.net/site/DocServer/11-14-07_Children_s_Health_Testimony.pdf?docID=4561

    Here's the good parts:
    "1.9 children ages 0-3 lack health insurance. Those children have a 500% greater chance of having a delayed or unmet health care need."

    If charities were meeting this need, the uninsured would have a 0% greater chance of having delayed or unmet health care. Is that enough of a fact? Charities are not working, because people don't care. It looks as if a government solution won't be implemented for the same reason.

    If people cared more, and gave more money to any of a myriad of good charities, there wouldn't be a problem. But there is a problem because charity ... isn't ... enough.

    Bob,
    It can be expected that a government solution will introduce waste. I agree! But let me ask you this. If a million dollars is wasted in order to help a million babies, is that worth not helping the babies? How about two million? Ten million? How much money is the value of a babies life worth? Judging by your avocation, I would say you would value it pretty high. So a 20% waste factor makes it okay to let babies die? What would an acceptible waste % be?

    I'm sure charities assist those 1.9infants to some degree, but if you oppose a government solution, what do you propose?

    All my scriptures are taken out of context? That's all you have to say? I stand by my statement that you think the Bible means whatever you want it to mean.

    Neither you or Jay qualified your condemnation of government orgs. So now I'm seeing that you feel some gov organizations ARE good. So the gov IS capable of running a good org. I'm glad we agree.

    Guys, I don't have the time to engage in this debate any longer. I appreciate the challenge because it forced me to do research, and I learned a bit. Please don't think I hate any of you ... we agree on a few important things and I do appreciate your anti-abortion efforts.

    I'll probably be back the next time Scott posts something that provokes me and we can lob grenades at each other again. :)

    take care,
    -Jim

    ReplyDelete
  19. I left out the word "Million." 1.9 million children don't have health care.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Jim,
    Like you, I don't have time to continue this. I understand your point about wasted $$ but disagree with your solution. Yes there are uninsured children (and adults). Though some choose to be uninsured, like you, I have empathy for those who do not. But being uninsured and not receiving needed health care are two different things. No hospital that I know of will turn away a child (or adult) who truly needs medical care.

    That said, I also agree that charitable organizations can do more. But I do NOT accept a government run health system as a solution to either of those problems.

    Finally, to be fair, I did not say that all of your Scripture verses were taken out of context. Re-read it. I said "some." I also acknowledged (at least twice) your point that we have an obligation as Christians to be part of the solution. My point is that we are already doing that. I just didn't want you to go away thinking I had dismissed your appeal to Scripture entirely.

    Thanks for the dialogue. I honestly appreciate your polite tone even though we disagree. Many coming from your point of view do not share that methodology :-). I hope you can say the same of us.

    Blessings ...

    ReplyDelete
  21. Interesting comments so far. I am just a "regular" Cradle Catholic but I do consider myself a Christian and spiritual human being. Furthermore I grew up in Europe and benefited from universal healthcare all my life, that is until I married into the US military. That was the first time I ever had to pay co-pay for a medical related expense. After switching to Prime we have no more co-pays and things are quite alright. Actually I much like the military health care system, it is very much like universal healthcare, not as good ( I got to choose my doctors in Europe ) but not bad. I do not understand why the US cannot implement a system like that for everyone. Medicare and Va benefits are also a great system.Every US Citizen should be entitled to healthcare. Jesus healed the sick and helped the poor. I find it very silly that the US still has no universal healthcare! America is so far behind in that regard compared to other industrialized nations. I read today that US life expectancy is even lower then Cuba's! And that even though the US pays twice as much as other nations per capita. As for your points you make.
    1. The bill does not contain funding for abortions. People need to fund their own abortions.

    2.the shedding of innocent blood? Really we went to war and killed innocent women and children. How do you justify that? Please no offense, bot the whole pro -gun, pro death penalty, pro war stances don't look very pro-life to me.

    3. Government bureaucracy is much more cost efficient then the current corporate insurance companies bureaucracy

    4. Enough with the death panel talk already. You know that is seriously nutty! My grandparents both had doctor's counsel to discuss their life's end wished with us the family present. Those are some tough decisions you have to make as a family and the doctor's guide you through the process which made the whole process of my terminally ill Opa much more humane. It is only fair and just doctor's get reimbursed for the counsel.

    4. To imply that taxation is stealing is ridiculous. People pay taxes everyday on everything. Your food, clothes, consumer goods. State taxes pay for roads ans schools. You get taxes on your gas..etc.. So common people use some common sense here! Also if you really think that taxes are stealing, what do you call the 11 million dollar profits CEOs of the US' 5 big healthcare companies are making??

    In conclusion. Being opposed to universal health care in my opinion is very un-Christian. Your arguments carry no water. And I have had nothing but excellent experiences with it abroad and in the military.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Matthew 25:45 I am all for healthcare reform

    ReplyDelete
  23. Jim,

    I have been away so this might go nowhere, but I would like to add one more thing to our discussion here.

    I work for charitable organizations and have experience in the community seeing what is and is not working beyond just observing data. The organization that I worked for prior to LTI is one of the better and more efficiently run organizations of its type in the country. One of the keys to our success was that we did not take government funding. The government gives needed money, but, as it must create universal systems that apply across the board institutions become paralyzed with situations that require only a little flexibility in protocol. I have seen it first hand.

    Also the government has to determine what is "fair" and in an effort to serve that concept they override your ability to make judgment calls on a micro level.

    Also, as one Christian to another, I think we both know that suffering will not be ended through the systems of man. Combine that with the truth that men corrupt even the best systems and even the best systems are imperfect. My point there is that there will always be people who are not served by a given solution. If we enact this plan, as undefined as it is at this point, then we will see an entirely different group suffering in different ways. And that is the best case scenario.

    I also know many people in the healthcare system professionally. Not one single person in that group endorse this legislation and they run the gamut from GP's, to surgeons, to administrators, and members of governing associations. They all acknowledge that the system needs to address many areas, but to a man and woman they think this is a bad approach that will ultimately make it more difficult to help people. At this point I am willing to acknowledge they have a better grasp of the situation than I do.

    But good men can disagree and still be good men. And you are obviously intelligent and thoughtful. Have a great day.

    God bless,
    Jay

    ReplyDelete

All comments are moderated. We reject all comments containing obscenity. We reserve the right to reject any and all comments that are considered inappropriate or off-topic without explanation.

News on the Matter

Loading...